MANILA, Philippines – Senatorial aspirant Grace Poe Llamanzares admitted Monday that she is not comfortable with some of the senatorial candidates of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Speaking before reporters at the Kapihan sa Diamond Hotel, Llamanzares revealed she does not agree with the inclusion of some UNA bets who continue to be identified with the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
“Hindi din naman ako sang ayon sa lahat ng kandidato ng UNA. Sa totoo lang may iba dun na di ako kumpyansa sa kanila. Naniniwala ako sa UNA dahil kaibigan ko ang liderato. Halimbawa, walang pumipigil na sumama ako kay [former President] Erap o Vice-President Jejomar Binay o kay JV Ejercito or Nancy Binay. Pero sa Liberal, dun sa coalition kami ni Chiz [Escudero] maaaring sasama,” she said.
Llamanzares is one of 3 guest candidates of the UNA and the Liberal Party coalition senatorial slates. The other 2 are reelectionist Senators Francis Escudero and Alan Peter Cayetano.
In the open forum, Llamanzares revealed that even some UNA bets are uncomfortable with candidates who have links with Mrs. Arroyo.
“Let me qualify this very carefully. UNA as a whole I cannot...there are certain personalities in UNA that I am not comfortable with because it's hard. Even naman in [LP], the main leadership are not the ones that are running. There are some in the Liberal Party who as you know was against FPJ. If UNA, in particular the ones running, will continue to be let's say identified with the last administration, so that I'm not comfortable. Even if you ask some of the people in UNA, they themselves are not comfortable,” she said.
The LP has been a vocal critic of former President Arroyo, who is currently under hospital arrest on plunder charges. Several UNA bets who have been identified with Mrs. Arroyo are Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay and Juan Miguel Zubiri.
Llamanzares, meanwhile, said she is bound by the LP’s rule to appear only in the coalition’s campaign rallies, and not UNA’s. For now, however, she is campaigning on her own while also open to campaigning individually with Estrada or Binay.
“If we go around, Senator Chiz and I are both independent, we will definitely join the coalition. Not with UNA. If it's individual, for example JV or Erap or Vice-President Binay, I don't see any problem. The problem is when you agree to be part of a coalition and they give out a rule like this, you kind of are bound by it. Personally I wouldn't necessarily agree but then the President did not say that's an unjust imposition so for now I would like to keep the peace and as much as possible, I would like to go around by myself,” she said.
Why she joined politics
Llamanzares also gave out the reason why she joined politics in the first place.
She said her father’s bitter experience during the 2004 presidential election prompted her to make her own mark in the political arena to honor her father’s legacy.
“Nadaya siya. Tapos parang inapi pa sya ng mga katunggali niya na wala siyang alam, bobo siya, hindi na nila inisip na nagpatakbo siya ng isang negosyo nang halos 30 years. So para sa kin bilang isang pinalaki niya, nais kong ipagpatuloy sana yung mga pangarap niya at ipakita rin naman na sa pamamagitan ni FPJ nakapagpalaki naman siya ng isang magpapatuloy ng kaniyang legacy,” Llamanzares said.
Llamanzares’ father, Action King Fernando Poe Jr., lost to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2004 in an election that was allegedly marred by widespread cheating. He later died in December of the same year.
Llamanzares said her father’s good name pushed her to do her best when President Aquino appointed her chairwoman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.
“Kung yung iba ang kapital ay pera at makinarya, ang kapital ko talaga ay ang ala-ala ni FPJ so hindi ko pwede iwaldas yun,” she said.
The senatorial aspirant said she is thankful to President Aquino for the opportunity to prove her worth while in the MTRCB. If elected to the Senate, she said she wants to focus on programs on poverty alleviation, children’s welfare, standardized reading programs in schools, protection of women and many others.
She also rejected statements that all actors do not make good politicians.
“Marami talaga din sa showbiz ang may kakayahan, matatalino. Marami din silang nakakausap na kababayan natin. Di mo rin pwede lahatin na lahat sa showbiz ay pwede magserbisyo so depende po yan. Case to case po katulad sa ibang sector,” she said.
On the issue of political dynasties, she said it is sometimes inevitable that children would want to follow in the footsteps of their parents whether it is in politics or in showbiz.
“Alam ko naman po na namamana talaga ang hilig at ang kakayahan kaya nga maraming artista na ang anak ay artista din. Di naman natin mapipigil na ang ambisyon ng anak gusto nila ipagpatuloy ang nakagisnan nila. Ang mahalaga siguro tingnan natin kung may kakayanan talaga at huwag nating i-endorso kung hindi tayo naniniwalang kaya nila at meron sila talagang experience dun sa bagay na yun,” she said.